Northern Ireland news

Family of teenager who died suddenly tell of how their world has been 'shattered'

Caolan Meegan (19) died suddenly at a friend's house in Carlingford on Sunday. Diagnosed with epilespy as a teenager, the rising rugby star is believed to have suffered a seizure and passed away
Marie Louise McConville

THE family of a "kind-hearted" teenager who died suddenly have told of how their world "has been shattered".

Caolan Meegan, who was 19, died in his sleep on Sunday while staying at a friend's farm in Carlingford where he was doing work.

Diagnosed with epilespy as a teenager, the rising rugby star, who lived on the border in Kilcurry, outside Dundalk in Co Louth, is believed to have suffered a seizure.

A member of Dundalk Rugby Club, it last night described trainee electrician Caolan, as a "talented and fearless rugby player" whose "smile and joy for life left an indelible mark on those he met".

The teenager's remains will be brought to Co Armagh today where a funeral Mass will take place in Newtownhamilton, where his mother, Julie is from.

He will then be laid to rest in St Michael's Cemetery in the town.

Speaking to The Irish News, Patrick Meegan said it was "sad" that his 19-year-old son had been "taken away too son."

"He was an absolute star," he said.

"He attracted the best of the best.

"He wore his heart on his sleeve. Everybody loved to see him coming. I am very proud of him. He was a loving son, He would have done anything for you. He was very affectionate.

"He was family-orientated and for him family came first."

Julie Meegan said her son had been diagnosed with epilepsy as a teenager however it "didn't hold him back".

"He didn't have many seizures," she said adding he may have suffered from one every year.

The mother-of-three said the sudden loss of her son had left his family, including his two brothers, Ryan and Stefan, feeling "numb".

She said her son would be remembered as someone who was "bubbly" and "very outgoing".

"He was very kind-hearted," she said.

"He was enthusiastic and hard-working".

"It is absolutely beautiful to hear all the comments we have been hearing from his friends."

Mrs Meegan said the family's world "had been shattered".

"It is never going to be the same again," she said.

"We are numb and devastated, dreading the next while without him."

Dundalk Rugby Football Club last night described the death of Caolan, one of the club's senior players, as a "tragedy for our rugby family and for all of those whose lives were touched by him within the club.

"Caolan was a talented and fearless rugby player. He was an outgoing, charismatic and fun loving, (an) individual whose smile and joy for life left an indelible mark on those he met and on those who had the pride and privilege of playing alongside him on the rugby pitch.

"He was a well liked and genuine individual both on and off the field and he had established himself as an important and popular member of the Dundalk RFC Senior Squad who are devastated at this time".

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